Azerbaijan Interviews: Firuza Harsanova
8 June 1999
From a collection of Azerbaijan Interviews, April 1999 MSF Firuza Harsanova Health Education Specialist (Health Education Program - Sumgayt)
Been working with MSF-B since 1996
Can you tell me a little bit about MSF's program to train students to
be health education trainers?
We started teaching children about health education. We were also
working among the adults, training keypersons to be health educators.
Then I thought it will produce a good result if the students will
learn about the issues and how to teach them, and then will teach the
younger children. The children from the other classes - 9th to 11tth -
they learnt the topics themselves, then went through a course on
"Train the trainer" and have begun to teach the youngest children. And
this has so far given very good results.
What is the difference between an adult teaching children or children
teaching their peers?
The children understand better if other children teach them. They have
their own attitudes, their own language_they understand better than
when adults come and teach them.
When you started training these children to be trainers, did you have
We had some difficulties. They didn't know about teaching methods, but
I gave them examples of how to teach and they learnt how to prepare
When you are sitting in the health education classes taught by
children, and you listen to the response of the children, what are the
comments they make?
They observe the presentation that was made and they evaluate it. They
say what mistakes their friends made. For example, a trainer used only
speech and not other methods of teaching such as demonstrations, their
teaching seems like a lecture.
The children can use demonstration methods and some of them are so
afraid about whether these will be good or not. Many haven't done
presentations before. Some children are going to be the teachers in
future so it is great experience for them.
They must gain a lot of confidence when they do successful training?
Yes. During our lessons they understand the importance of the health
education. If they will learn the courses, it is useful not only for
them. Even if one child gives passes on the information to three other
children - it's good.
They are in the community, they are with their
neighbors, so if one child has diarrohoea, they can give a
recommendation on how to stop the diarrohoea, how to treat the child
at home. The children say they give the information from the classes
to their parents all the time, and each time the parents are very
They also pass on the information to their neighbors, even
to the teachers in the school, and every time the neighbours and
teachers are very interested.